The close relationships experienced by a young child over the first few years, play an important role in shaping the brain in ways that may be enduring. Too many children in New Zealand experience relationships that are harmful and traumatising; relationships that weaken the early foundations of their development. These are children who are neglected or abused or exposed to conflict and violence in their homes. For some, the harm may begin before birth with exposure to alcohol, drugs and chronic maternal stress. Even from this early stage, there can be neurological changes that have the potential to impact on a child in ways that may be lasting. This workshop looks at the risks associated with early adversity; the role of close relationships including attachment in adverse circumstances, the potential impact on brain development and how these changes may manifest in a child’s learning, health and behaviour.
Hilary has a Masters in Perinatal and Infant Mental Health, a Post Graduate Diploma in Child Advocacy and a Post Graduate Certificate in Community Child Health. Hilary has many years’ experience working with infants, young children and their families and has worked with children and young people in care and protection.
Hilary is involved in carrying out research to ensure Brainwave is delivering scientifically accurate material in a way that is easy to understand. Part of this role is to update and train Brainwave educators as new information becomes available. Hilary also leads the development and delivery of programmes to Oranga Tamariki social workers and Corrections and Youth Justice staff throughout New Zealand.
Hilary cares deeply about the wellbeing of infants, children and young people in New Zealand. Her passion is to provide quality information that may help parents, professionals and others working with children in their important role.